By: Mond Ortiz
While we most of the time see flight attendants doing safety demos, guiding you to your seats, and serving passengers, these are simply not a even a fourth of what their primary duty is. Their role on board is actually too crucial that the aircraft cannot leave if the roster is incomplete. The primary role of flight attendants revolve around dealing with passenger lives and their safety, hence, their responsibility is really huge.
Throughout the years, the role of flight attendants on board aircraft has evolved, from merely being an "eyecandy" in aircraft during the 1950s, to now as a safety professional who could take on different tasks on board. As the aviation industry invests a lot on passenger safety, the responsibilities of flight attendants now entails evacuating all passengers in less than 90 seconds during an emergency being the last to leave the aircraft, administering first aid to passengers going through medical situations, saving passengers in deep waters and getting them unto life rafts during a water landing, ensuring the peace in the cabin, making sure all policies are followed, attending to other needs of passengers, and of course, ensuring the comfort of passengers.
While emergencies barely happens nowadays and we mostly see flight attendants focusing on service and safety standards, they train immensely every year to prepare them for any unexpected situation.
This is why many get the impression that the primary job of flight attendants is to serve meals and beverage of onboard, it's because we do not see or experience what flight attendants are really trained for.
While it is still part of their role to ensure comfort, it is definitely not their primary role. In fact, airlines invest millions on training facilities, equipment, and trainers to ensure that all flight attendants are fully equipped to take on the role required of them as safety is always taken above comfort. Airlines want flight attendants fully equipped and skilled to save and protect passenger lives in any unwanted situations where lives are placed on the line.
This is why flight attendant training is extremely difficult. It needs a lot of proper attitude, dedication, focus, and the right mindset to make it through.
Flight attendants are there to serve and ensure our passengers' comfort, and that role is also very important as there are different types of passengers, but they are not there to be a passenger's "personal nanny" where everything that a passenger wants should be followed. There are limitations especially if safety is to be compromised. They are still the authority on board where all policies and rules inside the aircraft have to be followed. Obeying them is never an option, it is a must.
The role also of flight attendants are as important as the role of the pilot or the flight deck crew. While the pilots operate all the equipment, systems, and avionics in the cockpit to make the aircraft fly, flight attendants operate everything that is in the cabin, and that includes the passengers.
So we do hope that you understand how important the role of flight attendants are. Its not just about serving chicken or beef and doing safety demos. They train hard to face emergency situations and to secure passenger lives. That is the primary role of flight attendants, and that's what they train hard for. Comfort and customer service is secondary, safety is primary.